The graphic below represents a classic supercell thunderstorm that you might see during your storm tours vacation as well as parent airflow in and around the tornado. During our storm chasing holidays, we will teach you how to interpret this 2D graphic and you'll be able to visualize how a tornadic storm might look while we are on a storm. As you can imagine these types of storms are very large and picturesque and is another reason why we recommend that you bring your camera!
The three pictures below represent just one way a tornado can form. From the Horizontal vorticity "rolls" being tilted into the vertical (Vertical vorticity) to the tornado touching down itself.
This graphic represents tornado frequency by state from 1955 to 1989. As you can see, Oklahoma has had a very high frequecncy of tornadoes during these years and it continues to be a hot spot. Of course the states of Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Colorado are also in a higher tornado percentage and we travel and chase these states as well.
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As you can see from the graphic above, "Chase Alley" and "Tornado Alley" certainly overlap. We usually start our early tours chasing from Texas to Oklahoma but as the season really kicks off we could be anywhere from Texas to Nebraska. As the season progresses, storm systems tend to remain to the Northern Plains, this usually happens from mid June to the latter part of July into August and is the reason why we have our Northern Plains tornado tours. These tours are ideal if you are a photographer or interested in photography, as we encounter not only majestic landscapes but also severe weather storm-scapes including massive supercell structures!
During your storm tour we do travel to the best area we think has the potential of producing severe weather. Some of those areas and states include: Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Eastern Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Eastern Montana, Eastern Wyoming, Missouri and other states as we see fit. The graphic below depicts what we call "Chase Alley" or "Tornado Alley" and is a good basic outline of some of the states we may storm chase in.
A Typical Chase Day:
We then generally meet with our guests in the lobby of the hotel we are staying at sometime around 10:00-11:00 AM check out time unless otherwise noted. This is where we will go over the days severe weather and storm chasing potential and where we think severe weather will happen as well as our target area for the day. Of course, we will continue to refine the storm chasing tour target area as the day goes on and with any new updates and information from our team of meteorologist and lead nowcasters, we will move where the best weather potential exists. Due to prime storm chasing time being from 3- 9 p.m. we usually only have time for a quick lunch before we head back out on the road. Since we may be in very rural areas for the afternoon and evening storm chasing, stopping for dinner might not be possible until 9 p.m. or later. Please note that we will not stop for dinner once the active storm chase begins to avoid missing potential severe weather. We may not arrive at our hotel until after 11 p.m. or later, especially if there is a good lightning show in our chase area. When there are no storms or on non-chase days, we should arrive at our hotel around 5 to 7 p.m.
Each morning, we run a full forecast looking at all weather data available including satellite imagery, surface data, forecast models, upper air data as can be seen below: We also will call our team of meteorologists as well as our severe weather experts to fine tune our storm chasing target areas. With all this information, we will forecast the best severe weather target area for the day.
We pride ourselves on a true one on one interaction with all of tour our guests and that is exactly what you'll get with Extreme Chase Tours' Storm Tours adventures! Many other storm chasing tour companies claim they provide personal tours. We have been offering storm chasing tours, adventure travel and tornado tours since we started part time in 1999. Our tour packages offer real one on one interaction and we are able to spend real quality time with each of our tour guests as we teach you not only about responsible storm chasing but also about severe weather, past events, how to read radar, how to stay safe and much more! We are currently the ONLY STORM TOUR COMPANY that allows and takes minors age 12 and older as long as they are accompanied by and adult.